May 8: A Visit to Hendrick Automotive

Gerald Ramoin is the last of a dying breed: he’s been with his current employer going on three decades now, in an age where millennials are predicted to work for over a dozen companies during the course of their careers. Ramoin, Market Area Vice President for Hendrick Automotive, hosted Monday’s offsite meeting at Hendrick Automotive in Durham, along with a number of his staff.  

Mr. Ramoin was introduced by Danielle Kaspar of the Washington Duke Inn.

Maybe it’s the business culture that has changed, rather than the employee mindset. Ramoin describes Rick Hendrick as a humble and generous self-made man, one reluctant to put the spotlight on himself or claim credit for his myriad good deeds in the communities that are home to his 110 dealerships. Judging by the testimonials of many Rotarians present at Monday’s offsite meeting who have purchased multiple Hendrick vehicles, the “doing good in the world” culture trickles down to the sales and service staff members. The result? Hendrick fans who are ready to share their positive experiences with others.  

Porsche, Subaru, Mercedes, General Motors, Chevrolet, Acura….customers can find the vehicle of their dreams all in one place just a stone’s throw from Southpoint Mall. Ramoin explains that Performance had outgrown their previous location on the boulevard in Chapel Hill, and Hendrick leadership wished to consolidate the Chevy dealership formerly located on the edge of downtown Durham. “Durham was home to us,” he says. “This location is centrally located not just to the Triangle, it’s accessible to Mebane and Pittsboro and other growing markets as well.” 

I was attending a Chapel Hill Chamber of Commerce function a couple of years ago when the announcement was made (much to the Chamber’s chagrin!) that the dealership would be leaving Chapel Hill. I asked one of their marketing executives, “how are you going to move all of those cars?” envisioning a caravan of tractor-trailers ferrying hundreds of vehicles to the new site. She just shrugged and said, “Well, we have about 600 employees, so it won’t really be a big deal.” Teamwork is clearly second nature to the Hendrick team.  

Six hundred employees in Durham alone, with over 12,000 all told. That’s a huge economic impact on our region, and it’s also reflected in Hendrick’s active community engagement. Employees work to feed economically challenged families on Easter and Thanksgiving; others volunteer in support of local organizations such as Habitat for Humanity, Duke Hospice, UNC Lineberger Cancer Center, Book Harvest, Paws 4Ever, and many more. Hendrick has always been a valued employer for students enrolled in Durham Tech’s Automotive programs. It’s no surprise that the dealerships have been successful and enjoy a reputation for customer satisfaction that’s the envy of the industry.  

 

Submitted by:
Carver C. Weaver 

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